EU inaugurates first mainland satellite launch port

KIRUNA, Sweden (AP) — The European Union wants to bolster its capacity to launch small satellites into space with a new launchpad in Arctic Sweden. EU officials and Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf inaugurated the EU’s first orbital launch complex on Friday during a visit to Sweden of the European Commission. The new facility near the city of Kiruna should complement the EU’s current launching capabilities in French Guiana. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that small satellites are crucial to tracking natural disasters in real time and help guarantee security.